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Updated January 17, Cryptocurrencies have been heavily sold off, amid fresh fears of a major regulatory crackdown in South Korea. It follows a sell-off last week when the idea of a law to ban trading was first raised by the Minister.
Number two by market capitalisation, Ethereum, dropped by more than 25 per cent while Ripple, the number three, dropped by more than 40 per cent.
In total, there are now more than 1, cryptocurrencies being traded in an increasingly crowded space. It is one of the biggest markets for trading cryptocurrencies, with college students and housewives all getting in on the action, stoking fears that it has become a type of gambling addiction. IG's head of research Chris Weston said the surge in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies was mostly driven by FOMO fear of missing out. However, Mr Weston said the rush to get in is being mirror by a panic to get out as the price of the cryptocurrencies tanks.
In the space of just 10 minutes, five investors put several thousand dollars into a bitcoin ATM in central Sydney to buy more of the cryptocurrency at what they see as discount prices. We've seen the hysteria stage. We've seen the hype stage, and now its come onto the regulators' radars as part of this bigger picture. The crash in prices comes soon after the man widely believed to be the world's savviest investor, Warren Buffet, said "I can say almost with certainty that cryptocurrencies will come to a bad end".
Huge price swings like these also make many question the usefulness of the cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange. It is hard to agree on a price if it is shifting so remarkably fast. Legislation has passed Parliament that will force cryptocurrency exchanges to disclose details of investors and transactions. Australia's financial crime fighting agency AUSTRAC will be tasked with keeping an eye on trading to try to stop cryptocurrencies from being used for money laundering and financing terrorism.
First posted January 17, If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content.
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By business reporter Carrington Clarke. Bitcoin prices plunged more than 20 per cent in the biggest sell-off for more than three years. Banks 'unwilling to work' with Bitcoin traders amid regulation concerns.
Buffett plans for the future … and it doesn't involve bitcoin. South Korea flags ban on cryptocurrency trading, rattles market. Bitcoin prices plunged more than 20pc at some points in the past day Other major cryptocurrencies had falls of more than 40 per cent Falls are due to concerns that South Korea will ban cryptocurrency trading. Bitcoin v US dollar exchange rate. We asked if the Bitcoin price drop had affected you. Read the discussion in the comments.
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